Published On : Tue, Jul 23rd, 2019

“Plan to demolish Yashwant Stadium and build a hi-tech market will be a terrible blunder”

Dhantoli citizens shoot a letter to Gadkari highlighting repercussions of the move

Nagpur: A group of citizens of Dhantoli locality and Yashwant Stadium shop owners on Monday shot a letter to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and drew his attention towards a report published in local newspaper regarding a plan to demolish Yashwant Stadium and construction of hi-tech commercial complex in its place.

At the outset, the group of citizens of Dhantoli locality and Yashwant Stadium shop owners who have not disclosed their identities, praised Gadkari for his style of working. “Since the BJP Government came to power at Centre and state as well, the country is witnessing all round development and progress. Every citizen sees you as ‘Vikas Purush’ (man of development). But a disturbing development is taking place.

As per a report published in local newspaper, a plan is being drawn to demolish the iconic Yashwant Stadium and construct a hi-tech commercial complex in its place. We therefore request you to kindly intervene in the matter personally and take a review of the proposed plan as it is full of shortcomings and flaws,” the letter said.

Calling the plan a blunder from town planning point of view, the group of citizens of Dhantoli and Yashwant Stadium shop owners have highlighted a number of shortcomings in detail as follows:

A. Selection of Location/Land is wrong. Yeshwant Stadium is surrounded by Dhantoli, Sitabuldi, Panchasheel Cinema, Jhansi Rani Square, and Variety square. It is a most densely populated area of the city with more than 12 hours of traffic jams on every day. Such a congested area cannot be selected for constructing a world class hi- tech market. From where the public will commute all the existing roads are narrow and over crowed. Without calculating the traffic density spending thousands of crores from precious public money is a huge waste from every aspect.

B. The Urban Development and Town Planning Department will never suggest new huge development in old overcrowded area of central part of Nagpur city. Each year more than 1,00,000 vehicles are added on Nagpur roads but the road size is limited resulting in ever increasing traffic jams creating many hazards, viz, air pollution, road accidents and wastage of time and huge wastage of precious Petrol/Diesel. All Metro cities are facing this problem.

Therefore for any future planning the first and very important consideration is connectivity with huge roads for easy accessibility of vehicles. Therefore in such cases a good planning is possible in new peripheral part of the city. Based on this fact the city of Nagpur has already prepared a new metro Nagpur Development plan and a new Development Authority in the name of NMRDA is created. This authority has extended Nagpur up to 25 kms from Zero Mile in all directions and planned huge roads. Big lands are already reserved for public utility purpose of various kinds including hi-tech Business Centres, Playgrounds, Schools, Collages, Hospitals etc.

C. Nagpur is not Mumbai which is surrounded by water from all four sides and only vertical growth is possible. In fact even inside the city of Nagpur huge land areas are available viz hundreds of acres of Punjabrao Krushi Vidhayapeeth land, Nagpur Central Jail Land, Forest Land, Land of Zudpi Jungle Government owned lands etc. In the Civil Lines area the Divisional Commissioner residence is located in more than 10 acre of land. In Hazaripahad, ample govt land is lying unused. It explains that unused open land, more than required is already available in Nagpur (please refer the Google map). Then why to select a location which is overcrowded and any new development in this area will only make the traffic situation worst. Public will not be able to commute, and many collateral problems will be created.

We request that for verification of our observation/objections, suggestions from all concerning authorities can be invited to find out the facts. We regret that no such suggestions were invited before the decision of demolishing Yashwant Stadium was made and planned by Ashok Mokha, the architect who has finalized this concept.

Hence the million dollar Question is in case lot of open land is available in better location why to select a wrong location and erect a structure which will be criticized by generations to come.

2. Generating unemployment and revenue loss to Govt:
In Yashwant Stadium there are about 98 shops given on rent, to business community who are running their own business since last 50 years. These traders have given employment to thousands of people who are earning their livelyhood from these business establishments. These businessmen have invested crores of rupees in their infrastructure development, interior, furniture etc. The minimum turnover of businesses is more than Rs 1000 crore and are paying GST up to Rs 200 crore per annum, and also other taxes. Demolition of Yashwant Stadium will not only be limited to a Capital Punishment for thousands of families but will also be a severe blow on trade loss and Government Revenue loss. In addition, the move will create unemployment which will go against the BJP Govt’s promise of supporting employment.

3. Yashwant Stadium is very costly and a glorious structure of city: Yashwant Stadium is a huge solid 50 years old precious Concrete Structure. It took more than 15 years and crores of rupees for the completion of its construction. Even today it is with excellent structural stability which can survive for many future centuries. Is there any sense in demolishing such a huge solid, concrete structure without any logical reasons? It will be very costly affair to break such a strong structure; disposal of such huge quantity of concrete waste will be very expensive affair. It will generate thick dust clouds, creating toxic air pollution, damaging the health of lakhs of people living in the vicinity of this area of very thick population density. Sound pollution from traffic jams will be the other concurrent problems.

4. Sewerage disposal: The old Nagpur is having underground sewerage disposal system with limited capacity. It is already over loaded and cannot bear any extra load. We all known that increasing capacity of this sewerage line is almost impossible.

5. Fuel loss due to traffic jams: It is a known fact that Indian Economy is suffering with huge burden of costly oil import. As per survey India can save 40% of fuel by avoiding traffic jams.

6. Pollution: Auto emission is not only damaging to the human health, but creating global warming, which is a great threat to damage the environment of Mother Earth.

7. Wastage of time: Traffic jams are resulting in wastage of precious man hours, which can be used for Nation Building.

8. Modern infrastructure development: In modern time, new developments are going on everywhere in the world. In most of big cities old town areas are not disturbed. With evolution of new digital technology ultra-modern new facilities have become necessary for new buildings with laying of cable networks, water, sewerage disposal provisions. Lot of safety, measures including fire-fighting have become basic need. In Yashwant Stadium location even fire tenders will take hours to reach. Look at China, Dubai or other developed countries such world class markets are planned on minimum 100 acres of land and a conglomerate of infrastructure having Multiplex, Playground, Hotels, Hospital, Colleges, Business Centers with adjoining residential colonies are being developed.

An important consideration is that after investing thousands of crores in construction it shall be accessible for the public of entire central India and not only for Nagpurians by connecting with 6-8 lane roads etc, and such structure shall become a tourist attraction to generate extra revenue for the govt.

Prayer: In view of above facts we pray as under:
1) Kindly inform the persons having taken this decision to rethink logically and scientifically before implementing it.

2) Publish a public notice and invite objections and suggestions which is statutory requirement for any such decision.

3) Invite impartial and unbiased opinion of world class town planners, architect to justify this decision and to decide a better location for new development.